The Golden Snowball Competition

My idea for the Minnesota Fantasy Legislature a few years was only marginally successful. So I’m avoiding creation of the Minnesota Fantasy Weathercaster League, and News Cut this winter season will entertain itself with the Golden Snowball Award competition, which will be given on April 1 to the Twin Cities meteorologist who most closely predicts the official snow totals for a given storm.

Here are the rules:

(1) The rules are whatever we make up as we go.

(2) The weatherperson on duty at the start of the snow — as determined by looking out the window of the News Cut World Headquarters — will be the official meteorologist of record. For example, if the snow starts at 7 a.m., the 10 p.m. local newscast meteorologist won’t be entered into the particular storm’s competition (unless he/she/it makes a prediction at 7 a.m., of course).

(3) For purposes of scoring, the “average” of the meteorologist’s prediction will be the actual prediction. A 6-10″ prediction will be regarded as an 8″ prediction.

(4) Scoring will be based on nearness to the actual official National Weather Service observation for St. Paul at the conclusion of the snow event.

5) Eligible snowstorms will be determined by the official Golden Snowball Award committee.

(5) This is for fun. Some people sit in wooden boxes on lakes staring at a hole in the ice; some people invent games to get through winter.

Here’s the current lineup for this storm’s competition:

Meteorologist Prediction Official
Augustyniak, Mike (WCCO) 7-10" 8.5"
Douglas, Paul (MinnPost) 8-12" 10"
Hammer, Patrick (KSTP) 5-10" 7.5"
Huttner, Paul (MPR) 5-9" 7"
Marler, Keith (KMSP) 4-7" 5.5"
Moldenhauer, Don (Bring Me The News) 5-7" 6"
National Weather Serivce 7-11" 9"

Scoring:

a) A meteorologist will be awarded 10 points for coming within .10 of the official National Weather Service observation.

b) A meteorologist will be awarded 9 points for coming within .25 of the official National Weather Service observation.

c)A meteorologist will be awarded 8 points for coming within .50 of the official National Weather Service observation.

ca) (Update) A meteorologist will be award 7 point for coming within .75 of the official National Weather Service observation.

d) A meteorologist will lose 5 points for missing the official National Weather Service observation by 1-2 inches.

d) A meteorologist will lose 8 points for missing the official National Weather Service observation by 2-4 inches.

e) A meteorologist will lose 10 points for missing the official National Weather Service observation by more than 4 inches.

If you’ve got evidence of a prediction at the start of today’s storm by a meteorologist not listed above, kindly forward it to me.

  • bsimon

    What?!? No entry from the Huttner Weather Lab?

  • Bob Collins

    I’m waiting to hear back. On his blog, he’s using the predictions graphic from NWS.

  • bob

    Why are no female meteorologists listed?

  • Bob Collins

    None were on duty and on the record at the time the storm started. (i.e. a video or web authored piece)

  • BJ

    Moldenhauer is not at KARE 11 anymore?

    You know I don’t know when the last time I watched TV news. (besides election nights)

  • JackU

    I started this comment with the idea of suggesting that the scoring should be based on an average of snowfall amounts at the various airports in the area (MSP, St Paul, Crystal, Flying Cloud, Lakeville). But then I realized I live about 5 miles from the St Paul Airport.

    Thanks Bob. This competition will help me pick which forecaster to listen to.

  • TimS

    I LOVE IT!! It seems like every snow storm we have has to be the biggest, worst, most dangerous. All I heard about the last one was “largest snow fall in early December in 24 years (or whatever)”. What next “largest snow fall on December 8th ever”? I am sick of the armageddon like predictions of our meteorologists. I will be watching to see who I can trust. I already new it wouldn’t be Douglas. 8-12 inches-HAH!